Tural Allahverdiyev

13 February

According to the agency Turan and the Caucasus Knot website religious activist Tural Allahverdiyev, known on facebook as Tural Divana, was detained by unknown people in civil clothes at his home and taken to an unknown location on February, 13. His neighbours were witnessing a detention. There was no information about him for 24 hours. On the evening of 14 February his family was informed by the police officers that T. Allahverdiyev had been arrested for a 20-day-period under the Article 535.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences (disobedience to legitimate demands of the police representative) by decision of the Baku Binagadi Court.

On social networks Allahverdiyev is known for his calls to assist in gathering donations for political prisoners’ families and purchasing school supplies for their children. He also protested against use of torture of the Muslim Unity Movement (MUM) leader, Tale Bagirzade, and religious activists Abbas Huseynov and Jabbar Jabbarov in Gobustan prison. 

18 February

Telman Shiraliyev, the “last prisoner of the hijab”, has been released. He was arrested for his participation in a protest demanding to drop the ban on wearing hijab in schools, which took place in front of the Ministry of Education on 05 October 2012.  Telman Shiraliyev was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. In early October 2018, he refused to write an appeal for clemency. On 22 October 2018, a week prior his release, an awl was “found” under his pillow, and on 20 December, 2018, that fact led him to another sentence of 5 months and 18 days in jail. According to Radio Azadliq announcement, he filed an appeal and, on 18 February 2019, Khatai District Court granted the complaint and Telman Shiraliyev was released.

22 February

The Ganja Court on Grave Crimes considered the case of a group of 11 defendants on the events in Ganja in June, 2018. The trial took place in the building of the Sabunchi District Court in Baku. All defendants found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for crimes under the Article 220.1. (riots) and 315.2. (resistance or use of violence against a representative of power with the use of violence dangerous to life or health) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic

  •   Maarif Hajiyev to 9 years imprisonment;
  •   Shahlar Rzayev to 8 years and 6 months imprisonment;

2.   Ruslan Hasanov to 8 years imprisonment;

3. Tural Bayramov to 8 years imprisonment;

4. Nizami Akbarov to 8 years imprisonment;

5. Kamal Maharramov to 8 years and 6 months imprisonment;

6. Araz Hasanov to 7 years and 6 months imprisonment;

7. Togrul Verdiyev to 8 years imprisonment;

8. Orhan Yagnaliev to 8 years and 6 months imprisonment;

9.   Seymour Aliyev to 8 years imprisonment;

10.   Vaqif Ashrafov to 7 years and 6 months.

The same day the Baku Court of Appeal considered Bakhtiyar Bagirov’s complaint, an activist of the MUM. According to Turan agency, it finally became clear that although he was detained on 06 February, the police officially declared his detention as on 11February. On 11 February, the Narimanov District Court in Baku sentenced Bakhtiyar Bagirov to 15-day-administrative arrest on charges of petty hooliganism. In the court the police representatives stated that the accused had been walking on the street and cursing.

According to B. Bagirov, he was kidnapped in front of his friend Fikrat Mammadov, who  immediately reported the incident to the 102nd service of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and ombudsman office. However, the law enforcement officials did not provide any information to either Bagirov’s family or his lawyer.

During the trial, the lawyer of the accused, Javad Javadov, petitioned for questioning of the arrested F.Mammadov’s friend in court, as well as for watching videos received from the cameras installed on the building of “Araz” supermarket and other located facilities nearby. However, all these requests were denied by the court.

What happened to the arrested believer during his six-day-stay at the General Department for Combating Organized Crime in Baku was also an important issue. According to B. Bagirov, all these days he had been constantly beaten up by 5-6 people. He assumed the torture was related to  some video material distribution that he published on a social network. The video demonstrated the protest against the use of torture and other violations against Tale Bagirzade and Abbas Huseynov rights. But the Judge Hasan Ahmadov rejected Bakhtiyar Bagirov’s complaint.

23 February

According to the Veten ugrunda agency, the trial of 6 arrested in connection with the Ganja events in July 2018 began in Ganja Court on Grave Crimes under the chairmanship of Judge Khagani Samadov. The defendants were Elvin Allahverdiyev, Elvin Nazarov, Renat Mammadov, Vugar Khudiyev, Elman Rustamov and Neymat Heydarly. All the accused were charged with a crime under the Article 220.1. (riots) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic. Two defendants (Elman Rustamov and Neymat Heydarly) were also charged with committing crimes under the Article 315.2 (use of violence dangerous to life or health against a representative of the authorities performing his official duties) of the Criminal Code.

All the defendants did not have any financial means to hire lawyers and were therefore assigned public defenders. Though the assigned defenders preferred to remain silent or consent with a judge and prosecutor.

Moreover, the lawyers either did not file a complaint or protest against the accused being handcuffed during the trial. On the question of the agency’s journalists who were at the court, the lawyers replied as they were prosecutors, “If you remove the shackles, they will do something and then who is going to be responsible for it?”